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Museum Kicks Off 50th Year with Dinner, Includes Illustrated History Program

By Staff | Apr 2, 2015

Submitted Award-winning cartoonist, actor and writer Steve Stark will give an illustrated history presentation Sunday, April 12, in conjunction with a Prairie Village Museum dinner.

Prairie Village Museum will kick off its 2015 season and its 50th year with a meatball and ham dinner and Steve Stark’s Illustrated History program on fur trading, Sunday, April 12, at the Rugby Eagles Club.

The freewill community dinner, featuring homemade meatballs, ham and all the trimmings, will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fargo cartoonist/historian Steve Stark will give his Illustrated History presentation on “Fur Trading on the Dakota Frontier” at 1:15. The program is free and open to the public.

Award-wining cartoonist, actor and writer Steve Stark will illustrate his tales of fur trading in Dakota Territory on a 20-foot roll of paper. Known by school children as “Mr. History,” this is Stark’s third appearance in conjunction with Prairie Village Museum’s Spring Kick-off Dinner.

“People enjoy Steve’s presentations so much the board decided to bring him back again,” said executive director Cathy Jelsing. Stark’s previous illustrated talks were on Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

Sponsors of the Spring Kick-Off Dinner are the North Dakota Humanities Council, Ramsey National Bank, Pierce County Endowment Fund, and the Geographical Center Historical Society, which operates Prairie Village Museum. Historical society vice president Linda Lysne is doing the cooking.

“In honor of the museum’s 50th anniversary, we have launched a ‘300 in 2015’ membership campaign,” Jelsing said. “Becoming a member of the Geographical Center Historical Society is a great way to show appreciation for the museum and for those working to sustain it for future generations.”

In March 1965 the Geographical Center Historical Society (formerly Pierce County Historical Society) purchased 20 acres of land from Kermit Blessum to establish a pioneer village and museum. Zion Lutheran Church was moved to the site that year and other historic buildings followed. Construction of Austin Exhibition Hall, now known as Old Main, began in 1968. Over the years, more land was purchased, more exhibit halls were built, and more historic buildings were added.

Today Prairie Village Museum consists of six exhibition halls and more than 20 historic and historic-looking structures arranged around a village square. The museum’s collections include a Burlington Northern caboose, a cook car, dozens of farm implements, automobiles, plus thousands of household items, Native American artifacts and other objects representative of life on North Dakota’s northern plains. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the museum’s annual Village Fair. For more information on these and other upcoming events, visit prarievillagemuseum.com, call 776-9344 or email prairievillagemuseum@gmail.com.

– Prairie Village Museum

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